Michelle Kelly is a writer, teacher and mother from the West Midlands in the UK. After becoming a full-time writer in 2013 she has written a series of historical romances for Mills and Boon, a series of paranormal romances ‘The Paranormal Investigations Agency’ for Xcite Books and her first crime novel, ‘When I Wasn’t Watching’ released 4th August 2014 by Harlequin Carina. She has just finished the first in a cozy mystery series, to be published Fall 2015 in the US, and is currently working on the sequel to this and her second crime novel, also published 2015.
Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
While writing my latest book – a murder mystery for the US publisher St Martins Press to be released Fall 2015 – I hit what I call ‘writers fatigue’. Not a case of lack of ideas, but rather a complete inability to write a word. I’ve heard it referred to as ‘burnout’ or ‘hitting the wall’. My tips for getting through this, based on my own experience, are
Leave it alone. Give yourself one or two days off.
Move. Do something that is physically creative; decorate, garden, cook, fix your car. It will get your juices going on.
Take advice and inspiration from your favourite authors by reading what they have to say about it. Any Google search will show you you’re not alone. Even – sometimes especially – the greats have been through this.
Be grateful. You are blessed to be able to write, to have the luxury to write.
Remind yourself of all your achievements, literary or otherwise. You might feel it right now, but you are not crap! Then sit down and write. One word at a time, if you have to.
Can you share a little of your most recent book with us? Here’s the official blurb for ‘When I Wasn’t Watching. It’s released on the 4th August by Harlequin Carina.
Every parent’s worst nightmare…
Eight years ago, Lucy and Ethan Randall’s little boy, Jack, was abducted and murdered by teenager Terry Prince. A moment’s distraction had ripped a family apart – and with the loss of their son came the collapse of the Randalls’ marriage. Tortured by memories, Lucy was left to battle her grief while raising her remaining son alone.
Now, Jack’s killer has walked free, giving him the second chance at life that little Jack never had. Lucy’s wounds newly opened, her world is turned upside down a second time when another child goes missing – and she can’t shake the suspicion that Prince has struck again.
When DI Matt Winston, the same officer who found Jack’s body, is assigned to the case, the echoes of Lucy’s past grow ever more insistent. Bound by their tragic shared experiences, Matt and Lucy grow closer – and become fixated on bringing the culprit to justice. But now history has repeated itself, answers seem even further out of reach. And for Lucy, it’s time to face her ghosts, and ask the most terrible question of all: can she ever really forgive herself?
The first chapter is available FREE on my bloghttp://www.michellekellyauthor.wordpress.com from the 1st August.
How much of your books are realistic / based on true experiences/ people? The idea for ‘When I Wasn’t Watching’ came from reading a newspaper story about the release of Jon Venables (one of the killers of toddler Jamie Bulger in the 1990s). I remember thinking; how must the mother feel? The story then came into my head as one – characters, plot, the lot. I deliberately didn’t do any further research into the Bulger story as I didn’t want it to be confused with some kind of commentary on that particular case – it’s a work of fiction built out of my own musings. But that was my starting point.
How much research do you do when starting a story? Although I didn’t look into that particular case, I did have to do a lot of research into things like police procedures, how the Missing Person alerts work when a child goes missing in the UK, even into foresic procedures. This being my first crime (ish) novel, it’s the first time I’ve had to do such extensive background research, and although enjoyable it doesn’t make the writing process longer and feel more like ‘work’. But it’s necessary. I also had to research in some depth for my historical Regency romances ‘The Virgin Courtesan’ and ‘The Rake of Gendir’ but it’s a time period I had prior interest in, so thakfully I already had much of the material I needed to hand. For the book I’ve just finished, a murder mystery/cozy romance for American publisher St Martins Press, I had to research the most effective ways to poison a dog, and where to bash someone over the head if you were intending to kill. I wouldn’t want my Google searches to end up in the wrong hands!